Die So Fluid
We chat to Grog from the band Die So Fluid
What inspires you creatively, both musically and in your crafting?
I’m constantly alert to inspiration, it can come from conversation, dreams, nature, books, film, fashion, buildings, travel, anything, and it comes to me like a magical message, it’s my job to recognise it and allow it to speak. I am lucky that I can channel other creative processes into being in Die So Fluid, on top of the songwriting, playing and singing. I design and make many of my stage outfits, clothes and accessories, do quite a bit of the bands artwork, and I’m now venturing into video making. I feel it adds an extra personal and unique dimension to what I do, and all my creative pursuits feed one another. I studied fine art sculpture at Chelsea School of Art, and during my time there first started playing in bands. Music won out but art has been a natural companion to it ever since. I think the reason is I like directness and interaction, music communicates in an immediate way, I love how it connects people.
What is your earliest crafting memory?
I remember making a cardboard house for ‘The Borrowers’ to live in if they should call in one night! I made them furniture out of cotton reels and egg boxes, and took the straps off an old watch to make a clock for the wall. I also recall an early period of obsessive woollen pompom-making! I was in the Brownies and often used to go round the village collecting stuff for the jumble sale. That’s how my love of vintage and customisation was born.
What are you working on at the moment?
We’ve been writing and demoing the next Die So Fluid album. We’re feeling really inspired and positive as we have great new management and the new material is sounding fresh and exciting. Also we’ll be making an announcement very soon about a solo venture-I’ve done my fair share of writing, recording and session playing over the years and learnt a lot. The timing feels right to let it show-that’s all I’m saying for now! I have a small collection of unique handmade and signed jewellery items available in my etsy shop, GrogRoxJewellery. I took a part time course in silversmithing when I first moved to LA, and I enjoy making one of a kind pieces often incorporating found and vintage items. I make pieces inspired by my life experiences such as my yogic journey (I’ve been teacher training for the last 5 months) and the shamanistic qualities of the desert. I now live near Vasquez Rocks and this is where I filmed the video for ‘Landslides’ a track from our last album ‘The Opposites of Light’.
Another new creative venture is the patch I recently designed, it’s called the DSF Secret Sect Patch and it’s just gone on sale here.
How do you unwind after a busy day?
We adopted a dog from a shelter who had been abandoned, and taking long walks with him is the best way to unwind. It’s Fonzi that makes sure I get exercise and fresh air everyday, and a break from my office and workshop! Progressing as a yogi has transformed my ability to relax and handle my time in a balanced way. I’m naturally the kind of person who just doesn’t really ever stop working. I enjoy reading, listening to audiobooks, watching great films and tv like Gotham, Game Of Thrones and American Horror Story, but I seem to be creating something all the time. I might be cooking up a new stage outfit in the back of my mind, I make toys and clothes for Fonzi, I made him this bed. Practising yoga, reciting mantras and meditation has become part of my normal routine now and I recommend it to everyone. It really gives you tools to help deal with life.
Who would you say are your creative heros and heroines?
I am inspired by artists who have a larger than life presence, who seem to come from another planet and this quality runs through everything they do, I also like artists who experiment with image and style and don’t give a damn about convention, eccentric geniuses if you like. I admire Adam Ant, Kate Bush, Bowie, Shirley Bassey, Siouxsie, Prince, designers Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, composer Debussy. Deftones are my favourite band. I’m fascinated by the art of Cindy Sherman, Nikki De Saint Phalle, Mark Ryden and I’ve always had a penchant for Outsider Art. I have vocal heros and heroines such as Chino Moreno, Chris Cornell, Jeff Buckley, Maynard James Keenan, Ella Fitzgerald..with voices of angels and who have crafted and mastered their technique. I shouldn’t leave out my favourite inspirational writer Paulo Coelho, and favourite horror writer Stephen King!
If you had a time machine and could see any musician or artist live, who would you go and see?
I would see performances by Elvis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Hendrix in their heyday, and Jeff Buckley. I’d go experience the Gershwin memorial concert at the beautiful Hollywood Bowl in the 1930’s. I’d want to meet Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page for tea to get their inside stories, and visit Da Vinci, Chagall, Kahlo, Schiele and Klimt to watch them at work.
Favourite place to visit?
I adore Venice, I find it so beautiful, mysterious and tantalising. The architecture and ancient history, the masked balls, the dark passageways and light reflecting on the water of the canals- gorgeous. We visited it when we went out there for a festival one summer, and I’ve longed to return ever since. I also fell in love with San Francisco last year. I could live there.
If you hadn’t been able to make a career in music what do you think you would have done?
That doesn’t bare thinking about, I could say I would have been a clothing or jewellery designer, but I can’t imagine not having that intense outlet for self expression that performance offers. For me all paths lead back to music, but I’m also so grateful that yoga has become a huge part of my life and I’m looking forward to hopefully introducing it to more folks as a teacher. In life we tend to feel like we’re supposed to fit neatly into one box. I’m a seeker and I want to know what’s inside all the boxes while I have the chance. And then write a song about it haha.
Any places that you have yet to tour and would really like to play?
I’d love to play in Japan, it’s such an amazing place, another world, and I would love to experience the culture.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Trust and believe in yourself, the universe is conspiring to help you.
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You can find out more about Grog and when she's playing near you on the Die So Fluid website. (Photography by Tina Korhonen)